Sen. Berthel Applauds CT Investment in Clean Air for Oxford Students

April 5, 2023

Great Oak Elementary School to Receive Funding From Newly Established 

CT HVAC Indoor Air Quality Grants Program for Public Schools


 Chief Deputy Senate Republican Leader Eric Berthel (R-Watertown), ranking member of the Legislature’s Education Committee, today applauded a $1,888,759.50 state investment in Oxford’s Great Oak Elementary School for the improvement of the building’s air filtration system.


This funding is part of $56 million in state grants for public schools throughout Connecticut to upgrade heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.


Senator Berthel said, “Young learners and educators alike need an environment that supports their health and safety. There is no more basic element to this environment than the air they breathe. I applaud the administration’s shared awareness of this crucial matter and the efforts to enhance indoor air quality in Oxford. This investment in clean and safe air quality will promote a healthier environment, fewer missed days from school and better learning outcomes for our students, teachers, and staff.”


The grants are being awarded through the HVAC Indoor Air Quality Grants Program for Public Schools, a newly established state program that is administered by the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services. It was created as part of the budget adjustment bill that Governor Lamont signed into law in 2022 (Public Act 22-118). The program has been allocated $150 million through two revenue streams, including $75 million from state bond funding and $75 million from the state’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.


These $56 million in grants represent the first round of funding released through this program. This initial round opened on September 14, 2022, and school districts seeking grants were required to submit applications to the state by December 1, 2022. Municipalities are required to provide matching grants to fund the project costs. Examples of eligible projects include:


  • Replacing, upgrading, or repairing boilers and other heating and ventilation components;
  • Replacing controls and technology systems related to HVAC operations;
  • Installing or upgrading air conditioning or ventilation systems; and
  • Other similar work approved by the commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services.


Although this is a newly established program, public school districts throughout Connecticut have already received more than $165 million in federal funding to support HVAC upgrades since the start of the COVID-19. Recognizing that there continues to be a need for more schools to make HVAC upgrades, the General Assembly and Governor Lamont established this program last year to ensure that a dedicated source of funding remains available for this purpose.